Summer Heat on the Way! Heat Illness Prevention
- On 18 May 2023
- Posted by Chantal Mariotti
Summer heat is just around the corner!
California’s heat illness standards require employers to take precise steps to protect outdoor workers from heat illness. As summertime rolls in and temperatures increase, California’s outdoor employees place themselves at a greater risk for heat illnesses. The Occupational Safety and Health Act applies to all employees who work in outdoor environments such as those in agriculture, construction, landscaping, oil and gas extraction, as well as transportation and delivery of agricultural products and heavy materials – – And let’s not forget those food servers and bussers who serve guests outdoors, possibly still wearing masks; and especially those in the Palm Springs & desert areas!
Employers are required to prevent employee heat illnesses. According to current regulations, employers must provide fresh water so each employee can drink at least one quart per hour. Encourage your employees to drink water and stay hydrated! Shade should also be provided to your employees who work outdoors in temperatures that exceed 80 degrees. Allow your employees to take a cool-down rest in the shade for at least 5 minutes to prevent heat strokes or other heat-related illnesses.
It’s the law. The safety of your employees is paramount to the wellbeing of your workforce. Issues involving heat illnesses not only affect the employees’ health but can create liability issues for the company as well. Make sure your employees are monitored for heat illness symptoms.
An HR Consultant can help create your IIPP (Injury, Illness Prevention Program). Every employer is required to have an effective Injury and Illness Prevention Program as well as drinking water in the workplace, first aid, and an emergency response. If you don’t have an IIPP, your HR Consultant can help create one for you.
Beware. All supervisors and employers must be aware of their responsibilities and what actions to take if they see signs or symptoms of heat illness. Train your managers on appropriate emergency responses, first aid requirements and how to properly complete your OSHA 300 log.
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